How I Save Money And Travel At The Same Time

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A lot of people ask regular travelers like myself “How do you have money to travel so much”. “How can you afford to travel often” etc. Truth is – travelling isn’t really that expensive if you’re willing to give away certain luxuries.

For me, yes it’s awesome to have the latest smartphone upgrade every year or be wearing a rolex. I’d keep it 100 and say I’d happily take one as a Christmas gift. Who wouldn’t? 😛

But when it comes to my lifestyle they are what they are – just luxuries. They aren’t normally what shapes my travel experience in the first place.

You also need to know the right time of the year to go on trips, the more affordable and inexpensive destinations and the dates in which you’re departing and returning. Serial travellers, namely backpackers, can find themselves visiting between 15-20 countries in a year.

I imagine this post is probably done to death by other travel bloggers. It’s my turn now! So I’m going to relate this to my current lifestyle and habits and give you handy tips that have worked. Hopefully this can give you effective travel ideas for the new year ahead of us!

Budgeting

Budgeting is the cornerstone to saving money and being able to travel at the same time. Designerwear? Not buying it. Daily lunches and snacks on the go whilst at work? That’s cut to once a week. Yearly phone Upgrade? I’m waiting two years instead. All these little changes to your habits all add up!

I try and see where I can cutback on things I’m spending a lot on. For example I stopped my gym membership several months ago and instead started exercising outdoors. I’ve rejoined now because I couldn’t stay that long without gym in my life. However the point is – net £20-£30 gained monthly that can easily get you a return flight to a European destination that’s the right place and right time.

Knowing I go travelling on average once every 2-3 months, the months leading up to my getaway is used to save up money for my upcoming trip. I know what days I get paid each month and I put half of what I earned into my travel savings account and use that money solely for trips.

I also have a 2nd job on Saturday mornings, an extra income stream is very handy also if you’re not for one relying solely on your 9-5 job.

How I Save Money And Travel Regularly At The Same Time
Image Credit: Canva

Free Activities When Abroad

In life it’s normaly the things that are for free that we take for granted. If you’re willing to explore the world on a set budget then your choice of activities are going to be key!

Attractions and activities that I know would cost a lot such as national/city castles, hop on hop off buses, I cutback or try to limit as much as I can.

There are often walking tours that are free in a lot of cities (e.g. Dublin and Belfast) and towns in Europe, along with museums and galleries and public parks and outdoor attractions so I take a preference to them.

Even when I’m back in London I’m always researching for meetups, club nights and networking events that are on the cheap and just as enjoyable.

All in all you’re still taking in the history and culture of the place you’re visiting, observe some beautiful scenery. For the women especially, you’re still geting the perks of getting high-quality pics for the gram!

Airbnb/Hostels over hotels

In the middle of arranging my travel plans and whilst away I’m always looking for alternatives I can take up to save more money. It doesn’t stop as soon as I arrive at my destinations. One of the ways I do this is by opting for Airbnb homes or hostels instead of hotels, which tend to be quite expensive.

Staying in an Airbnb or hostel is a more rewarding interpersonal experience. It’s an opportunity get to meet new people in the comforts of a home and expand your connections from different parts of the world instead of being alone in your hotel room scrolling on your smartphone. Plus you can get the kind of home comforts you’d normally get in a well-faciliated hotel. Some accommodation packages even have free breakfast options included.

I had the privilege of staying in an Airbnb for the first time ever when I went Dublin this summer and I never looked back

Receive free £25 credit if you sign up to Airbnb via this link

Weekend breaks over luxury holidays

Weekend breaks for me mean fewer nights, if not just one night, spend in accommodations, less time in general to spend money on things but also enough time to get to know the city. It also means that I take less annual leaves, which I can save up for other special occasions I may need to book days off from.

In theory you wouldn’t just be saving but you’d also be gaining in terms of the amount of travelling you can do if you used the free time you have on the weekends. This is assuming that most people reading this don’t work weekends.

It’s very useful and effective to do these weekend breaks in European cities due to the journey times being shorter than international flights. Plus since European travel is so convenient and cheap within Europe you can always find yourself exploring. I had planned to visit Trier in Southern Germany when I was going to Luxembourg but my trip to Luxembourg fell through due to my flights being cancelled

Book In Advance

My final tip is going to be another staple of travel saving that and it’s making advance bookings. The earlier you book flight, accommodations and whatever else is on your itinerary the cheaper they are and the cheaper your whole trip will end up being. Simples!

If you’re travelling as part of a group this is more difficult to do. Your friends or family may not be as prompt arranging their plans as you are and vice versa. Hence why it’s ideal that you have the right travel buddy on your side.

For accommodation I like to book a month prior to my trip at the very latest. If I’m booking accommodation with Booking.com and there’s the option to pay at the property I take it. This means I have more time to put away the money needed for accommodation costs. In addition to this, my flights are often booked two to three months ahead.

Final Word

Special mentions: Flash and seasonal sales are your best friend. Keep an eye out for travel deals on airline websites. Also ask for travel related gifts such as flight discount vouchers for Birthday and Christmas.

Those are my personal ways of managing my expenses but also enjoying the privilege of travelling on a regular basis. The key skills for me when executing these saving tips is researching, initiative and management. Some people prefer to get an all-inclusive package at a 5* star hotel and go business class for their flights just once or twice a year. That’s okay too! But for the aspiring, all-conquering serial wanderluster this is the guide for you!

For the cynics out there, sorry! There’s no sugar daddy or mummy involved. I don’t do fraud or drug dealing or any other criminal activity.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the read! Do you have any other tips to save? Leave them in the comments below. Give the post a like or share on your socials (buttons are just above the comments box).

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

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Johnny

Johnny is a 22-year old solo traveller and travel blogger with a craving to know the world better and make the small world bigger!

46 Comments

  1. January 10, 2019 / 7:49 am

    Wonderful post and great tips! Saving is so much easier if you have a certain goal you want to achieve. I have money jars for all the loose change and try to save where I can. Also doing some day trips around your home can be really great, if you can’t afford to do any longer trips. Exploring new places is always fun, even if it is still in your home country. 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 10, 2019 / 2:07 pm

      Thank you! Setting goals do help you be more motivated and disciplined in terms of managing your money! Yeah I definitely plan to do more UK travel. I feel like you take your home country or city for granted a lot, especially when you’re an avid traveler

  2. January 10, 2019 / 10:04 am

    This is awesome, Johnny. I recently start staying at Airbnb. Some have been great, some just mediocre. I guess people running around upstairs at 3am and banging doors when I’m trying to sleep isn’t my idea of “vacation” but ya live and learn! Hahah.

    Awesome post 🙂

    I’m looking forward to more.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 10, 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the positice words Emma. Yeah I get you, Airbnbs can be hit or miss. It all depends on the people who are hosting and the area you’re in. My Airbnb experiences in Dublin and Majorca the past summer were literally polar opposites

  3. January 10, 2019 / 3:38 pm

    That’s such a good idea to ask for a travel voucher for a gift 😍 I also think that it is a good idea to not have a destination in mind and just go to where is cheapest when you’re looking 😁 You can end up with all sorts 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 10, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      Nor do I, till my brother got me a £25 Ryanair voucher for Christmas. That’s EXACTLY my mindset to travelling atm, if there’s a country I want to visit and it’s cheap I’ll go but you know – I don’t mind anywhere 😂

  4. January 10, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    I never thought about asking for vouchers for gifts, that’s a really good one. I like to just go wherever is cheapest when I start to look and not have a particular destination in mind. You end up all over 😂😁

  5. January 10, 2019 / 4:41 pm

    As a seasoned traveler I am shocked at myself for only just discovering air bnb! But hands down camping is the best summer backpacking experience especially in country’s where you can wild camp! Massive money saver! But for meeting new people air bnb is amazing. Awesome tips though xxx

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 10, 2019 / 5:08 pm

      Oh well it’s better than not knowing at all haha! Ohg good shout on camping, it never cropped in my mind when I thought about backpacking! Appreciate you reading

  6. January 10, 2019 / 5:17 pm

    Your welcome! If you like Sweden wild camping is an amazing experience xxx

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 10, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      I went Sweden not long ago! I was in Stockholm though so not much room to camp I guess 🙁 But I’ll give it a thought when I’m in the Scandinavia next time.

  7. January 11, 2019 / 8:09 am

    Great post! Completely true about enjoying the free things when travelling – just got back from 6 months in Asia and some of the most memorable things were free. I’ve just written a similar post about budgeting 🙂

    Holly x
    http://www.ldnmuse.com

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      Exactly! Memories and experiences don’t have a price to them 🙂 Sounds like you did a bit of backpacking in Asia which you really enjoyed

  8. January 11, 2019 / 8:27 am

    Love, love, love your tips for travelling! Sometimes, it’s so much better and worth it to see a new country and culture than have a new smartphone with like 2 new features, lol.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Simply put and put well Claire! Those smartphones aren’t getting up and making the money that you need to see the world 😂😂

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 8:38 pm

      Cheers Amie, glad you found them useful!

  9. January 11, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    One of my friends who makes less than me is always traveling and i was always fascinated as per the how! i’ve got my answer now! such great tips!

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks Corinne, now you’ve got no excuse for not travelling as much as them if you’re on it 😂

  10. January 11, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post! I always welcome tips and seeing how much you love to travel, can’t have come from a better source haha.

    I love travelling honestly, it makes me so happy and content, unfortunately I haven’t been able to travel as much as I’ve wanted over the past few years but starting last year thats changed. My most recent trip was to Istanbul and it was incredible – have you ever been?

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 9:11 pm

      Thank you Rums! 100% you’ve come to the right travel plug :p Istanbul has cropped on my travel radar in that I’ve heard a few positive reviews about it – minus the political unrest that’s going on over there. But I haven’t been personally 🙁 Got any recommendations on the best places to check out in Istanbul?

  11. January 15, 2019 / 5:14 pm

    Weekend trips are the way forward. Also, I’ve learnt that booking restaurants in advance is a good idea as sometimes you can get discounts on drinks and you don’t spend hours walking around looking for a place to eat. A prebooked restaurant means a meal budgeted for in my eyes.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 15, 2019 / 9:10 pm

      That’s a very proactive thing to do George and yeah it definitely is less time-consuming but generally I try not to prebook tables at restaurants in case plans change 😉

  12. January 16, 2019 / 1:38 am

    wonderful post and I can truly relate to this as I am a budget lifestyle blogger. Staying at a luxurious hotel is not worth it because you wont even spend that much time in the hotel! when you travel you’re constantly out and about. I also truly believe in staying at a airbnb 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      So true! I’m not against luxury hotels by far but there are obviously other, cheaper accommodation alternatives that can be just as satisfying and rewarding 🙂

  13. January 16, 2019 / 6:18 am

    Such great tips, thanks for sharing. Booking in advance is always a hit! It saves you so much stress in the long run.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 12:15 pm

      Definitely Ene! Thanks too for reading 🙂

  14. January 16, 2019 / 7:53 am

    Wonderful tips! I love staying at Airbnb where I can save money by cooking a few meals & doing laundry. I’ve started traveling with only a backpack, which saves time & money in airports, too.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you! I think I’m gonna make a pac with myself to start cooking meals when abroad as well. At least once if anything! Tell me about it, fewer security checks is always a win!

  15. January 17, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    Thank you for all these great tips! I’ve used Airbnb before and always had such a great experience with the hosts! (Although I only stay with superhosts..!) Also something I need to start thinking about this year is budgeting for traveling – so I shall take on some tips!

    Thanks for a great and informative post 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 17, 2019 / 10:41 pm

      You’re welcome Millie! Airbnb is very reliable, it surprises me every time I hear a travel say they’ve enjoyed their experience and the hosts. That’s good to hear, feel free to pop back to this post and take a few notes

  16. January 18, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    All very good tips. We love to travel , so I am always curious to see how other people pull it off. Thanks for explaining your tried and true travel tips!

    Karen | https://OurCarpeDiem.com

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 19, 2019 / 11:37 pm

      Cheers for reading Karen, and yeah that’s pretty much how I do it :p

  17. Sydney | A World in Reach
    January 19, 2019 / 11:10 pm

    Great tips! I’m a big fan of finding free things to do on trips, especially walking tours! I also try to save money on my flights so I have a little more to spend once I’m at my destination.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 19, 2019 / 11:51 pm

      Walking tours are the best free activities for me! It’s like a fast-track for learning about the place you’re exploring. That’s wise, looking pass the discomforts of flying economy class it can be money well saved. Appreciate you checking out the post Sydney

  18. January 20, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    This is an extremely well written and informative post, Johnny. Booking in advance is definitely a big one, as is combining cities – for example, when I was in Munich, we went on a day trip to Salzburg in Austria so that was two countries done in one trip! I stayed in hostels when I travelled when I was younger but now I prefer hotels or B&Bs – at my age I want a few home comforts, haha. However I think that experiences are more important than possessions so it’s definitely true that you can go an extra year without a new phone or something if it saves you money to spend on travel.

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 11:17 am

      Thanks Nic 🙂 Yeah visiting multiple cities in neigbouring countries is more convenient too, instead of booking separate holidays/trips for them. And yep, as for experiences they last so much longer than possessions you’re probably going to change over or lose in a few years What was Salzburg like for you?

      • January 21, 2019 / 5:20 pm

        I loved it! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very good that day, a bit rainy, but in sunnier weather it would be amazing – the views are breathtaking. As we were only there for a day we didn’t really get to explore properly. We walked around a bit, had a guided tour, went on a boat trip and had lunch and that was about it before we had to head back to Germany! I’d definitely go back, though.

        • Johnny
          Author
          January 22, 2019 / 8:11 am

          Yeah there’s a lot of natural forests and mountains in Austria that are very pretty to look at. Sounds like you were still able to do quite a bit though. Imagine if you had an extra day or two!

  19. January 20, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    I love doing free activities when traveling. There’s always so much that can be done free.

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 21, 2019 / 11:12 am

      100%

  20. January 22, 2019 / 12:12 am

    This was an amazing post ! I definitely took notes because I’ve been wondering how others were traveling so frequently. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    • Johnny
      Author
      January 22, 2019 / 8:22 am

      Gotta make sure they’re logged in somewhere else! It makes me happy you’ve literally taken a lot from it 🙂

  21. April 7, 2019 / 10:33 pm

    I so want to be a travel blogger . thanks for the tips. I hope to get a job soon so I can travel lol

  22. June 1, 2019 / 7:51 am

    Enjoyed reading this. I was like yep yep and yep! Back home I avoid spending money on things which I don’t need. Trainers and clothes I’m not too fussed about. My phone.. it’s in good condition. I usually spend money on food and food only! And I know I can cut that out completely even by doing challenges where I don’t spend money for a month like I did in April. When travelling I also noticed that when I pay for museums etc I don’t always enjoy it as much and I tend to enjoy the free activities instead. I usually do hostels but this year I’m doing Airbnb to have a feel what it’s like and so far so good. And when travelling with someone else, splitting Airbnb cost makes it better too

    • Johnny
      Author
      June 2, 2019 / 8:54 pm

      Facts bro! All facts! Think the moral of the post is that sometimes is that our best experiences don’t come at a price 😂😂

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